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Market Distribution

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Market Distribution
Post by Moorningstaar   » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:34 pm

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Have you considered getting Netflix to turn the safehold series into a Netflix Original Series. Considering how well drivel such as game of thrones has done I think there's certainly room for actual good fiction there.

Just imagine actually being able to watch Prince Cayleb's meager fleet of experimental galleons sailing towards a combined enemy force more than 6 times it's size while this music plays in the background:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTwvHnpS9zY
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Re: Market Distribution
Post by Keith_w   » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:47 am

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Moorningstaar wrote:Have you considered getting Netflix to turn the safehold series into a Netflix Original Series. Considering how well drivel such as game of thrones has done I think there's certainly room for actual good fiction there.

Just imagine actually being able to watch Prince Cayleb's meager fleet of experimental galleons sailing towards a combined enemy force more than 6 times it's size while this music plays in the background:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTwvHnpS9zY


Netflix would probably see it as a limited interest and highly expensive series due to the combined historical/science fiction theme as well as the expense. CGIing all those ships both sailing and rowing is bound to be expensive. As we have recently seen, although Netflix is not advertising driven, they are bums in the seats oriented, having just cancelled several shows such as Sense 8 which I was just starting to enjoy, Marco Polo which I watched season 1 of and couldn't be bothered to watch Hundred Eyes or season 2, Longmire which I totally enjoyed and Get Down, which I hadn't watched. So they are getting fussier about what the put on the servers.
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Re: Market Distribution
Post by Moorningstaar   » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:40 am

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Keith_w wrote:Netflix would probably see it as a limited interest and highly expensive series due to the combined historical/science fiction theme as well as the expense. CGIing all those ships both sailing and rowing is bound to be expensive. As we have recently seen, although Netflix is not advertising driven, they are bums in the seats oriented, having just cancelled several shows such as Sense 8 which I was just starting to enjoy, Marco Polo which I watched season 1 of and couldn't be bothered to watch Hundred Eyes or season 2, Longmire which I totally enjoyed and Get Down, which I hadn't watched. So they are getting fussier about what the put on the servers.


I'm not sure I'm swayed by your arguments here. Firstly this series has political intrigue, massive battles, and a super warrior. No, I'm not certain this wouldn't appeal to Netflix as I think it could easily compete with GOT.
Secondly, most of the tech in these books 14th - 18th century. Hell, we have working models of that stuff. SG1, DS9, Glactica, and many other successful SF shows had massive space battles, so I doubt that would be an overwhelming (or even whelming) hurdle.
And the fact that they just canceled some shows is a good thing. This means they're in the market. And lets face it, if Star Trek can be canceled anything can be, am I right? Of course I am. Silly question.
Lastly I'd like to point out that even if it were a longshot (which I'm sure you and I still disagree on) there is no loss in trying. No writer would ever have amounted to something if they'd refused to try unless they were certain they'd succeed.
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Re: Market Distribution
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:30 am

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The "problem" is that David Weber isn't a film maker so somebody with skills in that area will have to "step up" to do most of the work.

There was a group working with David Weber to create an Honorverse movie/series but the group went under.

Creating a movie/TV series involves more people's input than writing books.

IMO you don't need to convince David Weber (or us) to "take a risk".

You need to convince film makers to "take a risk".

Moorningstaar wrote:
Keith_w wrote:Netflix would probably see it as a limited interest and highly expensive series due to the combined historical/science fiction theme as well as the expense. CGIing all those ships both sailing and rowing is bound to be expensive. As we have recently seen, although Netflix is not advertising driven, they are bums in the seats oriented, having just cancelled several shows such as Sense 8 which I was just starting to enjoy, Marco Polo which I watched season 1 of and couldn't be bothered to watch Hundred Eyes or season 2, Longmire which I totally enjoyed and Get Down, which I hadn't watched. So they are getting fussier about what the put on the servers.


I'm not sure I'm swayed by your arguments here. Firstly this series has political intrigue, massive battles, and a super warrior. No, I'm not certain this wouldn't appeal to Netflix as I think it could easily compete with GOT.
Secondly, most of the tech in these books 14th - 18th century. Hell, we have working models of that stuff. SG1, DS9, Glactica, and many other successful SF shows had massive space battles, so I doubt that would be an overwhelming (or even whelming) hurdle.
And the fact that they just canceled some shows is a good thing. This means they're in the market. And lets face it, if Star Trek can be canceled anything can be, am I right? Of course I am. Silly question.
Lastly I'd like to point out that even if it were a longshot (which I'm sure you and I still disagree on) there is no loss in trying. No writer would ever have amounted to something if they'd refused to try unless they were certain they'd succeed.
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Re: Market Distribution
Post by Dauntless   » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:16 am

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correct the problem is that the corporate suits will run a mile if it isn't guaranteed to print money nowadays.

netflix takes a few more chances with some of its original films. look up spectral or Arq. both are quite interesting but very non main stream and those were short 90 min films.

I've never understood how Game of Thrones was ever put into production. admittedly it is a fantasy setting which is cheaper to make then high level SF but even so. the size and ambition of the first book alone should have made them run away screaming in horror at the thought. the added fact that the writer takes a minimum of 4 years to do a book, should also have been a red flag, when unlike RFC he doesn't have 5 different series on the go at the same time
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Re: Market Distribution
Post by Moorningstaar   » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:42 pm

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DrakBibliophile wrote:The "problem" is that David Weber isn't a film maker so somebody with skills in that area will have to "step up" to do most of the work.

There was a group working with David Weber to create an Honorverse movie/series but the group went under.

Creating a movie/TV series involves more people's input than writing books.

IMO you don't need to convince David Weber (or us) to "take a risk".

You need to convince film makers to "take a risk".



First, if DW were a film maker I wouldn't ask him to get netflix to do this. He could do it himself. Most assuredly DW would need someone to adapt his stories. There is a niche of writer called a screen writer that essentially does this. And the best part is that in general the producer hires the screen writer(s) to do the adaptation.

Look, I don't want DW to spend all that time rewriting his stories for screen (if I thought that was a good idea I'd be talking to David Gerrold, lol). However I do believe he should retain right of veto in order to keep his vision on track.

Now as far as convincing film makers to "take a risk" DW has agents for that

Lastly I would like you to consider (just consider as I don't know you) that there may be a bit of egocentricity in the idea that the setting would stop people from watching this show.
ie: Only those as sophisticated as WE would have interest in a pre/post industrial revolution setting. Hell, I'm an SF buff but I enjoy these books about the progression of outdated technology.

If I implied in any way that getting such a show going was a certainty or that it would be a guaranteed hit I apologize. I am not a psychic, nor a prophet. I simply think this is something worth pursuing. The reward from success is sooooo much higher than the minuscule effort in making an overture to Netflix that it is most definitely worth the attempt.
What I want to know is why you guys seem so resistant. Do you not want to see this series adapted to a show? Would you not get a kick out of it? I'm hearing alot about the difficulties (and I have to say you guys seem to be exagerating imho) but this thread never actually asked what the difficulties would be. I asked if he'd considered it. So the question really, is not 'is it possible?' as it is a small amount of effort to try. The question is 'would you guys get a kick out of it?'.
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Re: Market Distribution
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:04 pm

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Yes, you don't know me. ;)

It appears that most of us know more about "what's involved" in making movies and/or TV shows than you do.

First of all, movies/TV shows are visual products while books "happen in the head of the reader".

An author can "paint" a scene in our minds that could be extremely hard to recreate on the screen (TV or movie theater).

In addition, an author can create a story in a single book that would take several movies to tell.

To tell a story in a movie, requires dozens of people besides the actors which means money spent.

Would we like to see a TV mini-series of the Safehold series?

Actually I think most of us would love to see one, assuming that it could be done correctly.

First, I personally think that it wouldn't be "done correctly" both because of my cynical views on Hollywood and because of the limitations (compared to books) of movies & TV shows.

Second, in spite of the success of GofT, I doubt that many movie makers would be interested in attempting to create a Safehold mini-series.



Moorningstaar wrote:
DrakBibliophile wrote:The "problem" is that David Weber isn't a film maker so somebody with skills in that area will have to "step up" to do most of the work.

There was a group working with David Weber to create an Honorverse movie/series but the group went under.

Creating a movie/TV series involves more people's input than writing books.

IMO you don't need to convince David Weber (or us) to "take a risk".

You need to convince film makers to "take a risk".



First, if DW were a film maker I wouldn't ask him to get netflix to do this. He could do it himself. Most assuredly DW would need someone to adapt his stories. There is a niche of writer called a screen writer that essentially does this. And the best part is that in general the producer hires the screen writer(s) to do the adaptation.

Look, I don't want DW to spend all that time rewriting his stories for screen (if I thought that was a good idea I'd be talking to David Gerrold, lol). However I do believe he should retain right of veto in order to keep his vision on track.

Now as far as convincing film makers to "take a risk" DW has agents for that

Lastly I would like you to consider (just consider as I don't know you) that there may be a bit of egocentricity in the idea that the setting would stop people from watching this show.
ie: Only those as sophisticated as WE would have interest in a pre/post industrial revolution setting. Hell, I'm an SF buff but I enjoy these books about the progression of outdated technology.

If I implied in any way that getting such a show going was a certainty or that it would be a guaranteed hit I apologize. I am not a psychic, nor a prophet. I simply think this is something worth pursuing. The reward from success is sooooo much higher than the minuscule effort in making an overture to Netflix that it is most definitely worth the attempt.
What I want to know is why you guys seem so resistant. Do you not want to see this series adapted to a show? Would you not get a kick out of it? I'm hearing alot about the difficulties (and I have to say you guys seem to be exagerating imho) but this thread never actually asked what the difficulties would be. I asked if he'd considered it. So the question really, is not 'is it possible?' as it is a small amount of effort to try. The question is 'would you guys get a kick out of it?'.
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Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
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Re: Market Distribution
Post by Moorningstaar   » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:12 pm

Moorningstaar
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DrakBibliophile wrote:Yes, you don't know me. ;)

It appears that most of us know more about "what's involved" in making movies and/or TV shows than you do.

First of all, movies/TV shows are visual products while books "happen in the head of the reader".

An author can "paint" a scene in our minds that could be extremely hard to recreate on the screen (TV or movie theater).

In addition, an author can create a story in a single book that would take several movies to tell.

To tell a story in a movie, requires dozens of people besides the actors which means money spent.

Would we like to see a TV mini-series of the Safehold series?

Actually I think most of us would love to see one, assuming that it could be done correctly.

First, I personally think that it wouldn't be "done correctly" both because of my cynical views on Hollywood and because of the limitations (compared to books) of movies & TV shows.

Second, in spite of the success of GofT, I doubt that many movie makers would be interested in attempting to create a Safehold mini-series.


Please educate me on which part of making a TV SERIES I'm ignorant of, as you didn't actually highlight a single area (like when I pointed out screen writers, producers, and agents) that you knew more about. I'm confused. If you know more about making a TV SHOW than me then please pass on this knowledge. Don't just declare yourself the expert in a flippant, offhand way and expect me to let it sit.

And to be honest I have my concerns about movies made from books as well. Ender's Game, and Starship Troopers are two perfect examples of how an unsupervised screen writer can destroy a great work of art like a juvenile vandal in a museum with a can of spray paint. Which is why I stated that DW should maintain control of his vision.

Netflix has 135 different original series', which suggests they might be more willing than you think. Either way, worth an attempt.
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Re: Market Distribution
Post by WeberFan   » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:37 am

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Dauntless wrote:correct the problem is that the corporate suits will run a mile if it isn't guaranteed to print money nowadays.

netflix takes a few more chances with some of its original films. look up spectral or Arq. both are quite interesting but very non main stream and those were short 90 min films.

I've never understood how Game of Thrones was ever put into production. admittedly it is a fantasy setting which is cheaper to make then high level SF but even so. the size and ambition of the first book alone should have made them run away screaming in horror at the thought. the added fact that the writer takes a minimum of 4 years to do a book, should also have been a red flag, when unlike RFC he doesn't have 5 different series on the go at the same time

Say it with me: "Ratings and revenues... Ratings and revenues... Ratings and revenues..."

Series like GoT succeed because they have hit the demographic sweet spot that enable them to generate huge revenues. Me? I don't watch it at all. Guess you could say I'm a marketer's worst nightmare. Conventional marketing and market analysis is useless with me. But my wife? She's a HUGE GoT fan. She watches it because of the medieval romance / soft-core porn aspects. Same with my daughter. Now do I know this? I asked and they told me. Can I extend this reasoning to a broader audience? Nope. But I've got two data points: a middle-age woman and a college-age daughter that suggest it's true. And when I do see the teasers during those few times when I actually pay attention to my television, I can see the marketing pitch to that audience coming through loud and clear.

All that being said, the audience at this board is (obviously :D ) pretty strongly in favor of David and his works. "Of COURSE they should make it into a miniseries with nothing but the best, 'A-level' talent... It's OBVIOUS!!!." But it's the analytics and (as many have said) the risk tolerance of the investors that will ultimately tell the tale. And I think it would take a really, really good presentation of the concept as something other than Safehold as a pure science fiction miniseries to spark the kind of interest necessary - and to convince investors that "this thing really has possibilities" - to make it happen.

While I would personally love to see it come to fruition, I think I'd much rather see David continue writing and (most importantly) taking care of himself instead of expending a lot of time and effort on getting Safehold translated either the big screen or the small one.
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Re: Market Distribution
Post by Moorningstaar   » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:37 am

Moorningstaar
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Say it with me: "Ratings and revenues... Ratings and revenues... Ratings and revenues..."

Series like GoT succeed because they have hit the demographic sweet spot that enable them to generate huge revenues. Me? I don't watch it at all. Guess you could say I'm a marketer's worst nightmare. Conventional marketing and market analysis is useless with me. But my wife? She's a HUGE GoT fan. She watches it because of the medieval romance / soft-core porn aspects. Same with my daughter. Now do I know this? I asked and they told me. Can I extend this reasoning to a broader audience? Nope. But I've got two data points: a middle-age woman and a college-age daughter that suggest it's true. And when I do see the teasers during those few times when I actually pay attention to my television, I can see the marketing pitch to that audience coming through loud and clear.

All that being said, the audience at this board is (obviously :D ) pretty strongly in favor of David and his works. "Of COURSE they should make it into a miniseries with nothing but the best, 'A-level' talent... It's OBVIOUS!!!." But it's the analytics and (as many have said) the risk tolerance of the investors that will ultimately tell the tale. And I think it would take a really, really good presentation of the concept as something other than Safehold as a pure science fiction miniseries to spark the kind of interest necessary - and to convince investors that "this thing really has possibilities" - to make it happen.

While I would personally love to see it come to fruition, I think I'd much rather see David continue writing and (most importantly) taking care of himself instead of expending a lot of time and effort on getting Safehold translated either the big screen or the small one.


You see, I find it strange that you think its obvious the people chiming in here would want this when everyone on this forum gives every possible reason they could think of NOT to do it. Look at your posts. You aren't supporting the concept, your saying everything you could that would keep him from going to his agent and saying "Make a few overtures with Netflix" and seeing where it goes. Cause that would take soooooo much time wouldn't it? And yeah, maybe nothing will come of it. But the attitude here seems to be that he shouldn't try unless he's guaranteed success. Cause there are soooo many writers who succeed with their first story. Why else would they have submitted it if they weren't certain it would end up in print?

Note: While I'm completely aware that DW doesn't think this way, its quite clear that you do. And when he looks at this forum he's not seeing a whole bunch of people excited about this prospect. He's seeing one guy who thinks its worth the effort and every other one who thinks his time would be better spent getting a cup of coffee. If any of you actually are excited by the prospect you certainly aren't acting like it. Consider this excerpt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrOZllbNarw
Maybe you don't see it but this is exactly how you sound to me. You certainly don't sound excited. And therein lies the rub. You'd like to see it? Say so. Say how excited you'd be. Don't give 101 lame reasons to get a cup of coffee instead. And don't act flummoxed when someone jumps to the conclusion that you are arguing against it, regardless of which forums the thought has been posted on. When you want to go to the movies do you preface that with 'but I'd have to get in the car and drive there, which would leave me open to getting in a car accident (I mean, have you seen how some people drive?) and then I might get there and the theater will be crowded and I'll end up behind some tall guy with a fro or next to some douche that won't turn his phone off, and then the movie I pick would probably suck, and lets not forget about the sticky floors I'd have to walk on, and then I'd have to brave traffic just to get back home'? Would anyone listening to you think you had the slightest interest in going to the theater? And the truly ironic thing here is that it would take less time for DW to talk to his agent than it would for you to brave that movie theater gauntlet.
Now perhaps your just trying not to get your hopes up. But that's not what it sounds like, and that's not what DW sees. What he sees is the people who are so in love with his work that they'll spend time on his forums naysaying the very concept.
Perhaps your attempting to sound a note of caution. Again the appropriate way to convey this would be more along this format:
'That sounds awesome, as long as he's careful of x'
'I'd love to see that, but he'd better watch out for y'
'This could be amazing as long as he makes sure of z'

Not 'it won't happen because of x, y, and z.'

Now, above I stated 101 lame reasons to get coffee instead. And the way this thread seems to be going I'm certain someone is going to point out below that there haven't been anywhere close to 101 reasons given, lame or otherwise. So I'll just state for the record that this was an exaggeration. That said, I've heard one reasonable concern about such a venture, which was regarding the adaptation of this to screen staying true to the books. I share this concern, but I don't think its insurmountable.

Now lets discuss whether this series could draw a crowd. Of course I can't tell you what some corporate exec would think of this, as I'm not a prophet or a psychic. I'm pretty sure no one in this forum is. So all we can do is make educated guesses and infer from other examples.

I get that you don't think this would appeal to a wide audience. One of the simplest ways to get an idea of a minimum audience would be to look at how many people purchased the last book in the series. Unfortunately I could not find any metrics regarding this. That leaves four considerations for me regarding the feasibility of such an endeavor:

1) I've mentioned Game of Thrones a few times for specific reason. This show primarily deals with politics of the worst kind. I'd say that pretty much defines the group of four's antics. So we could infer that this aspect would appeal to the majority of GOT viewers. But conversely this series also shows us the flipside of that dynamic in the court of Charis and all the true statesmen attempting to stop them. This would draw every person who quit watching GOT because they were tired of nothing but betrayal and corruption and all their heroes dying. And as big as GOT is all but two of my friends quit watching long ago due to these complaints.

2) Americans love big battles. When we look at the most successful movies for the last few decades one thing is clear. Nearly all of them involve massive fight scenes and large explosions. I won't get side tracked into what this says to me about the mental health of America but it is true. Many truly wonderful explorations into the nature of humanity (Driven, Amazing Spiderman 2, etc.) seem to fall by the wayside in favor of action. While this series is not action packed it does have enough large battle sequences to draw that audience.

3) I refer you to Arthur C Clarke's words of wisdom 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic'. Why? Because in my view this series very effectively bridges the gap between SF and Fantasy. Those more inclined to Fantasy would intellectually understand that Merlin was a product of technology, but deep down he'd be a magic warrior/fighter much as the other characters refer to him. And speaking as one who has friends who prefer Fantasy (when they aren't reading/watching anime) I can tell you that they love this aspect of the story. And lets not forget that the setting is a low tech society which also more accurately emulates a feeling of fantasy, whatever we may know this series to be. In other words (and simplifying it as much as possible) this series could easily draw Trekkies and Fan Boys alike. No small audience there.
4) This series would interest anyone who had any proclivity towards building things. I refer you to the number of minecraft players.

So yeah, I get that everyone whose posted here thinks a TV series based on these books would only have a niche audience. I personally don't see it that way.

P.S. I'd also like to point out that Tor Books would probably jump behind this with all three feet, as such endeavors increase book sales.
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